Getting your goat


Anna Hedworth, aka The Grazer, joins the campaign for goat

All through October chefs all over the country took part in ‘Goatober’. Not the catchiest title, but you get the gist – goats and October being the important bits.

Goatober is the brainchild of radio executive Erin Fairbanks and New York cheesemonger Anne Saxelby. An annual campaign in the US, it encourages chefs to purchase unwanted male goats from the dairy industry which would usually euthanise them at birth.

This year, James Whetlor of Cabrito, a relatively new company bringing British goat into the mainstream food market, has been championing the event over here. I decided to get involved as I really like goat and was keen to support James and also my local goat supplier, The Goat Company, in Morpeth.

This goat mince ragu recipe has been on the menu at my Cook House in Newcastle all month, served on toast smothered in delicious Doddington cheese. It’s also great served with pasta, in a lasagne or with buttery polenta.

All you do is finely dice 1 onion, 1 carrot and 1 stick of celery then add them to a big pan with a pinch of salt, a bay leaf, 3 tbsp olive oil and 15g butter and cook slowly until soft, which takes about 15 mins.

While this is going on, add 4 large tomatoes cut into quarters, or the equivalent amount of cherry tomatoes, to a small baking tray, add a splash of olive oil and a pinch each of salt, pepper and sugar. Then roast at 200C/Gas 6 for about 20 mins until they’re soft and starting to brown. Then remove from the oven.

Go back to the onion mix and add 1 clove garlic and a few sprigs of finely chopped thyme and stir through. Add 1kg goat mince to serve 4 generously. Gently stir the mince on the heat until it’s brown and breaks up evenly, then add
2 heaped dessert spoons of plain flour, stir through and cook for 5 mins. Then add 2 heaped dessert spoons tomato purée, stir through and cook for another 5 mins.

Add the roast tomatoes to a blender and blitz until totally smooth, then stir into the meat mixture. Add a big pinch of salt, lots of ground black pepper and 1 tsp sugar and stir to combine. Then add about 600ml beef stock (preferably homemade with roast beef bones simmered for a few hours with stock veg) and 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce. Then let the mince simmer for 1hr, covered, very gently. If it seems too thick just add a little more stock.

After 1hr remove the lid and if it seems like there is a bit too much liquid, leave the lid off and turn the heat up and let it reduce for about 15 mins, stirring now and again so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Turn it off when you’ve got the desired consistency, check the seasoning and let it sit for 15 mins, just to settle and bring the best out in all the flavours. It’s even better the next
day, so if you can make it ahead that is ideal.

To serve, pop it on toast with lots of grated cheese, or stir through some pasta, again topped with cheese, or layer it up into a homemade lasagne, making sure to top with – you guessed it – lots of cheese!

Read more from The Grazer on her blog at and enjoy her food at The Cookhouse, Ouse Street, Newcastle NE1 2PF,

Party on…
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